USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center forms Wellness HUBs with Lazarex Cancer Foundation


The Cancer Wellness HUBs will address cancer health disparities and improve cancer health outcomes in the greater Los Angeles community across the continuum of care, from prevention through treatment and clinical trials


Credit: Richard Carrasco

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation, founded by Dana Dornsife, has provided a $200,000 grant to the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris) to establish Cancer Wellness HUBs in the greater Los Angeles area. The Cancer Wellness HUBs will be situated within the diverse communities we serve. USC Norris staff will enhance community engagement and provide a local resource for cancer-related education and navigation support for cancer services, ranging from prevention to survivorship. Dr. Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement at USC Norris, will lead this program in collaboration with Dr. Marya Shegog, health equity and diversity coordinator at the Lazarex Cancer Foundation.

“The wellness community Hubs will bring vital information about clinical trials and cancer support services directly to communities most impacted by cancer,” says Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati. “Resources will be available in their own neighborhood without having to go far to get information or be connected to what they need.”

USC Norris will utilize a “pop up” model for the Cancer Wellness HUBs, making use of existing facilities such as churches, schools, YMCA locations, community centers, and health clinics within the community. Services offered at the USC Norris Cancer Wellness HUBs include conversations with cancer healthcare providers, cancer education workshops, as well as cancer support groups, cancer survivorship toolkits, and information on how to reduce cancer risk, engage in cancer screening, and participate in clinical trials. USC Norris will also employ cancer care companions from local medical and community organizations to address the informational and support needs of community members. Neighborhood health ambassadors will serve as the bridge from the local neighborhoods to the Cancer Wellness HUBs.

“We are very grateful to the Lazarex Foundation for their continued support of our mission at USC Norris,” says Dr. Caryn Lerman, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate dean for Cancer Programs and H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “These neighborhood hubs will transform how we engage our community to reduce the burden from cancer for patients and families.”


About USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

At USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, more than 250 dedicated physicians and scientists are leading the fight to make cancer a disease of the past. As one of the eight original National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, USC Norris has revolutionized cancer research, treatment, and prevention for nearly 50 years. Multidisciplinary teams provide the latest research-based care at USC Norris Cancer Hospital, a 60-bed hospital, as well as outpatient clinics throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.

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